MLB

Federal government remains concerned about Jays, MLB teams crossing border

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer, says the consequences of the Blue Jays' and visiting teams' travelling across the border regularly during the 60-game season remains an issue.

Top health official says team's revised proposal is better, but travel still an issue

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer, says the revised plan for home games in Toronto is improved, but that there are still concerns about the proposal. (Carlos Osorio/The Canadian Press)

A top Canadian government health official says the Toronto Blue Jays' revised plan for home games is improved, but that there are still concerns about the proposal.

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer, says the consequences of the Blue Jays' and visiting teams' travelling across the border regularly during the 60-game season remains an issue.

"In the case of Major League Baseball, what the construct is, [is] that the teams – and the Blue Jays included – would be, during the regular season, travelling back and forth across the international border. And that, I think, is an issue," Njoo said Friday.

Njoo says the Blue Jays have made adjustments to their original proposal, which didn't call for a modified quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"[The team's] proposal initially was, 'oh well, they can just live in their condo or summer residence and be part of the community,'" Njoo said. "I think it's to their credit that the Blue Jays understand how seriously we're taking COVID-19 here in Canada."

WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo discusses logistics of Jays playing season in Toronto:

Public Health official Howard Njoo is asked how the Blue Jays could play regular season home games in Toronto

Politics News

6 months agoVideo
3:23
Dr Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer and a self-confessed Jays fan, spoke with reporters on Parliament Hill on Tuesday. 3:23

Under the current plan, the Blue Jays and visiting teams will stay in a hotel connected to Rogers Centre, as the Toronto club is doing currently during training camp.

Still, Njoo says the federal government is more comfortable with the NHL model.

The NHL's plan sees 24 teams arrive in Toronto and Edmonton later this month, with all players and staff being isolated from the general public. The teams won't leave Canada until they finish play.

Njoo says talks with the Blue Jays are ongoing.

The Blue Jays' season opener is July 24 at Tampa Bay. The home opener is July 29 against the Washington Nationals.

With files from CBC Sports

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